Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Highlights!

I always seem to be about a week behind in my blogging...this time, however, it's not my fault...I thought I'd lost our camera. I found it this morning, though, right where I'd left it--in the glove compartment of the car. So get ready for lots of pictures in celebration of finding the camera that was never really lost!

Christmas Eve started out a little rough, but ended great. Before heading to Joe's parents' house (while my family headed to the beach in California), we decided to drive around to hand out our "neighbor gifts." Of course it was snowing, and being 9-months pregnant, I'm a little off balance. We had just left one house and were heading for another when something happened. I'm still not sure if I tripped, slipped on the ice, or was just plain clumsy, but before I knew it, stuff was flying through the air as I fell straight forward. I'm pretty sure I was supposed to land on my stomach, but somehow miraculously managed to land on my right wrist, elbow, and knee. I screamed, and Joe set Parker down to run and see if I was OK. I started bawling, Parker started to cry, and somehow the ENTIRE neighborhood managed to see it happen. I knew I hadn't landed on my stomach, but I was still freaking out about the baby, my torn coat, and throbbing arm. I got up and just wanted to crawl into the car, but of course everyone who saw it happen ran to see if I was OK. I really was fine, just embarrassed and not wanting the whole world to watch me blubber. I'm still amazed (with my track record of broken bones) that nothing was broken and the baby is still alive and kicking! I stayed in the car for the rest of the deliveries trying to compose myself!

Anyway, Christmas Eve was great! Parker was SO FUN this year...he was really into everything. He loved singing songs, helping shine the flashlight on the nativity story, etc. Here he is pointing to his nose as we sang Rudolph! Grandpa played the organ while we sang. I could have kept singing Christmas songs all's my favorite part of Christmas Eve...but short attention-spanned kids wouldn't allow it!
Here's the best picture we had of our family. Parker's actually looking at the camera, but squirming like mad to get away from me! Do I look like I was crying?
Grandma and Grandpa G. gave Jacob and Parker matching PJ's and farms...both were a HUGE hit (since Parker's pretty into what he wears these days). The farms entertained both of them for hours while we played games!
After the party, we went home and Parker opened his Christmas PJ's from us, and we opened our Christmas PJ's from my parents. Yes, the light is reflecting off my belly!
Christmas morning was a blast! Parker got super excited for every present he opened. He would yell fun things like, "Look!" "Open?" "Yaaaaay!" It's great that he's still at the age where he had absolutely no expectations...he just got to wake up to a bunch of new toys and paper-ripping.
Joe gave me some new cycling shoes...Parker clomped around in them all morning long! We ate our traditional Christmas morning casserole and stayed in our pajamas for most of the day playing with Parker's new toys and puzzles.
THEN we went over to Joe's parent's house and Parker decided to get sick again! It's our new holiday tradition...Joe was changing probably his 7th diaper of the day, and Parker threw up all over him (for once it wasn't all over me!) Our Christmas abruptly ended and we went home. My parents and Michael flew in late Christmas night. Parker and I had to stay home most of the time they were here, so I missed seeing them as much as I would have if we'd been able to follow them around all week, but it was great having them. Nothing like having Nannu there to help clean up vomit! We celebrated Christmas with them on the was really fun prolonging the event and so sad to see it end! Now our full house is empty, the Christmas decorations are down, and there's only one thing left to do...rush like crazy to get ready for the baby that will inevitably be here next month!!!! Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pre-Christmas Festivities

Before Christmas comes and goes, (yikes...only 2 days left!) I thought I'd better post some pictures of our pre-Christmas celebrations!

First, our good friends Art and Evelyn invited us over to meet Santa. It went really well (obviously). Parker must have gained something from the experience, though, because now whenever we talk about Santa, see a picture of Santa, see Santa in the mall, etc., he says, "Santa. Nice." Doesn't look like he thought he was very nice here, though, does it!At the annual family Christmas party, Parker learned the art of bell-ringing. Now we sing Christmas songs in our car everywhere we go, while Parker madly shakes his arms up and down.At the above-mentioned party, Parker received his new clothing obsession from his baby cousin, Tate...Now the first thing he says in the morning is, "Elmo? On?" He LOVES his Elmo slippers!Last night, Joe's work had a family Christmas party at the Pizza Factory with bowling afterwards. Below is Parker with Colby and Kandis' cute little boy, Carter. I was actually really bummed because we had to leave the party before the bowling started because we already had tickets to the Peter Breinholt Christmas concert. How often do we have a paid for, fun night out? Never...but we missed it. Oh well. The concert was pretty fun. We went with Joe's sister Marci and her husband Marcus. When we bought the tickets, the only 4 left seated together were the "box seat" tickets. We thought they were going to be pretty crappy, but they ended up being the best seats in the house...we were in our own little box where we could see the veins popping out of Peter B.'s head while he sang. The highlight of the concert for me was when Peter B. had everyone hold up their cell phones in the darkened theater. EVERYONE had was pretty funny. The true highlight of the evening, however, was driving home...we drove next to Santa and Mrs. Claus...Mrs. Claus was driving a white suburban with Santa in the passenger seat. They had a handicapped sticker on the license plate, as well as a K-Bull 93 bumper sticker...apparently the Claus Family likes country music. I was wishing I had my'll just have to take my word for it. The worst part of the evening was coming home to Parker still awake (at 10 pm). Our poor (11-year-old) babysitter looked pretty disheveled, but I couldn't quite get out of her how the night went. There was, however, an unwrapped poopy diaper in the trash can, and a poorly wiped bum that I discovered this morning. It was an interesting night! Tonight our friends Jace and Rebekah invited us over to make gingerbread houses. Parker loved eating the candy (he still has his eye on it...), but wasn't much help in the house-building department. He had a melt-down before we could add all the finishing touches...oh well! Here's the Jace and Rebekah family...Sam is 3 and Kate is EXACTLY Parker's age...I don't remember her birthday, but our due date was the same! Their house was a little more detailed...Joe and I were pretty slow!Anyway, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!

He Said, "I've been watching you, dad..."

I love the song "Watching You" by Rodney Atkins because it is SO TRUE how kids imitate everything their parents do (even at 19-months)! I didn't realize how observant Parker is with our "morning routine," but he knows what we do with everything. He LOVES playing with Joe's glasses (he says "glasses" really well, I might add....he pronounces it, "gla-gless"). He loves brushing his teeth, but only with one of our toothbrushes. He shaves his face with Joe's electric razor, and puts deodorant right where it goes...on his neck! He has put my eyeshadow on a few times, but that particular eyeshadow is no longer in working order, so we had to put a stop to that one. It's amazing and rather scary to me how this little person is watching every single thing we do, and wanting to be just like us. Watch out world!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What NOT to say to an emotional pregnant girl!

Conversations I've had in the last week (and my whole pregnancy, actually):
"So when are you due?" The beginning of February. "'re going to be really big!"

"Did you get this big with your first baby?"

"You must already have kids since you started showing so early and got so big so fast!"

"You look like you're ready to pop!"

"When are you due?" February 4th. "Oh wow. Are you having more than one?"

Thanks for the boost of confidence, everyone! Unfortunately I still have over a month to go...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Happens When......

1. You let your 18-month old decide what he wears to bed?

Answer: He'll demand his Choo-Choo train PJ top, layered over his dinosaur PJ top, along with a hat and slippers. 2. Your husband can't find his shoes?

Answer: Check your son's feet...the shoes are part of his new PJ ensemble (along with the fly swatter).

3. You stay at the church to help clean up after the extended family Christmas party?

Answer: Your son will help spread the dirt that everyone else just swept up.

4. You get stuck in the snow trying to pull into the driveway?

Answer: Your son will rake the snow for you.

5. You leave the husband home with your son for a few hours on a Saturday morning?

Answer: You come home to a sleeping husband, an empty pack of gum, and minty-fresh poopy diapers (sorry, no picture).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

25 Christmas Questions Answered!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
This is a hard one…I actually really love both, but egg nog is really only available this time of year, so during the holidays it’s probably my favorite!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Santa WRAPS the presents and then sets them in neat little piles for the individual receiver on the couch.

3. Colored or white lights on the tree/house?
I used to not really care…but now I definitely prefer white lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, but I should!

5. When do you hang up your decorations?
Sometime after Thanksgiving. We got our tree last week (on December 4th)…a week and a half after Thanksgiving…not bad, considering I sometimes went home for Christmas break while at BYU and my mom still didn’t have the tree up! (Sorry mom….)

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Definitely the "Christmas Morning Casserole" we used to eat every year at my Grandma Johnson’s house. Christmas morning still wouldn’t be the same without it!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
I always really loved Christmas Eve and everything associated with it! Singing carols, reading a Christmas story, driving around looking at lights, and sleeping in new pajamas! Christmas morning was also SO MAGICAL…I LOVED waking up and looking at all the presents on the couches wanting to rip them all open, but not wanting it to be over. I loved that my family always took turns opening presents…it helped stretch out the anticipation. The year Joe and I dated was also one of my favorite Christmas years. He came to California with me, then flew home on Christmas Eve. I did the 12 Days of Christmas for him, and he gave me a bunch of my "favorite things." We talked hypothetically about marriage on the phone on Christmas day...I was so giddy family probably hated my annoying-ness, but it was really fun to imagine my future life WITH someone.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
This is probably really weird, but I have no idea how or when I learned. Knowing my sister, she probably told me right after she found out. I just remember my mom telling me that we still had to believe so that the magic wouldn’t end!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We always get a new pair of Pajamas…still!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
After Joe and I first got married, I worked for American Insurance. Every year the office gets a tree, then a few days before Christmas, you enter a drawing for the items you want off the tree. The year I worked there, I won the tree skirt and star that goes on top. After the drawing, there were still tons of wooden star ornaments, berry balls, cinnamon sticks, red beaded hearts, angels, and bells. When no one else claimed them, I did! So…thanks to American Insurance, we still have a really cute tree designed by someone else!

11. Snow? Love it or dread it?
I definitely DREAD driving in it, but I love looking at it and occasionally playing in it. I love sitting by the window in the middle of a big snowstorm watching it fall. After January, however, I’m ready for it to be gone. We've had TWO big snowstorms in the last ten days. After each of these, I've had to call Joe. The first time I couldn't pull into the garage...I thought I was going to run into the house every time I tried. Yesterday I got stuck trying to pull into the driveway! Poor's going to be a long winter! I HATED winter in Finland. It was so cold one time that my eyelashes froze. I looked at my companion and thought she'd thrown snow on her face because her hair and eyelashes were white. We both laughed at how ridiculously cold we were and how ridiculous we looked. Wintertime in Utah is much more bearable and pleasant!

12. Real tree or fake tree?
Growing up it was always real. I loved going out and picking the tree, then coming home and listening to Christmas music while decorating it. Joe and I still get a real tree, but we’re thinking that this year we might check out the after-Christmas sales and get a fake one. I have a mistletoe candle that smells just as good as the real one, anyway!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
The year Kimberly got Dutchess was probably one of the most fun years…we all carried her around showing her off all day long. I think I got a bike that year…that was really cool, too. When Joe and I were first married, my parents gave us some really nice down feather pillows…I was really excited. The year I got the ski clothes was great, too. A few years ago Joe gave me "Karaoke Revolution" for X-Box. We sat around in our pajamas for a few hours playing…it was great (until we had to rush to get ready for church—Christmas was on Sunday—and realized that the water had been shut off in our whole apartment complex…we rushed to my parents’ house to shower and still miraculously made it on time).

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Being with family. I love the hustle and bustle BEFORE Christmas, but I really love when the day actually comes, the shopping is done, presents are wrapped, and we can remember what Christmas is really all about!

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

16. What is your favorite tradition?
Starting sometime mid-November, Joe and I watch a Christmas movie every Sunday night. This started when we were dating and has sort of continued. Joe gets really into the Christmas spirit early on…it makes the season really fun for me!

17. What tops your tree?
A cute wooden star (compliments of American Insurance)

18. Which do you prefer…giving or receiving?
I honestly love both. I love receiving stuff that I know a lot of thought has gone into. I also really love finding (or making) the "perfect" gift for people and watching their reactions.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I love "O Holy Night", "Silent Night", and "Away in a Manger". More contemporary favorites would have to include "So This Is Christmas" by Sarah McLachlan, "Prayer of the Children" by Kurt Bestor, and MANY more!

20. Candy Canes…yuck or yum?
I like stirring my hot chocolate with Candy Canes, but don’t really love eating the peppermint ones alone. The fruity See’s Candy ones are great, though.
Favorite Christmas Movie?

21. Favorite Christmas Movie?
A Christmas Carol, Polar Express, etc. Joe and I had our first kiss after watching A Muppet’s Christmas Carol and Mr. Krueger’s Christmas, so those also have to be on the list!

22. What do you leave for Santa?
I don’t remember leaving him anything, but my kids will definitely be leaving something chocolaty with milk!

23. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
Christmas morning casserole for breakfast, waiting to look at the presents until everyone was awake, my dad taking lots of not pretty morning pictures of me, etc.

24. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?
I would have to say probably on-line. If I could have everything sent to my house I would be happy! I definitely enjoy GOING to the mall just to feel the excitement, see the decorations, be a part of the hustle and bustle, etc., but actually trying to find exactly what I want in all that mess isn’t very fun for me!

25. Christmas letter or Christmas card?
Eventually hopefully we’ll be enough on top of things to actually write a letter, but for now just a card. Last year we didn’t even get to that, so we sent a Valentine’s Day card. We might have to resort to that this year too unless I get my booty in gear TOMORROW!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Thanksgiving this year was a great, but emotional day for me. The day started with Joe and I running in a 4-mile Turkey Trot. (I felt fine during the race, but felt like I'd run a marathon for the rest of the day. Probably not the smartest thing this pregnant girl has ever done!) The day continued with Parker throwing up ALL OVER ME. The day ended with me crying (of course) and being SO THANKFUL that my family was there! Since they all stepped in to make Thanksgiving at my house a success, this is a tribute to each of them! I am thankful for....

My Dad
...for never letting a moment go by (when he's around) without letting me know that he loves me. He's a pretty sensitive guy...I think he cried as much on Thanksgiving as I did! He's always thoughtful and always makes sure we're all taken care of. Parker LOVES his Bapa!

My Mom
...for taking care of EVERYTHING. It was really important to her for everyone to have a nice, enjoyable, YUMMY dinner. She was up late the night before and up early to make sure everything was perfect...and it was! She took care of Parker while Joe and I went on our run, cleaned up vomit, cleaned the bathroom before they left, etc. She tried to do EVERYTHING she could to make my life easier...just like she ALWAYS has! Parker walks around the house all day with a phone on his ear. When I ask who he's talking to, his response is ALWAYS Nannu.


...for being the most THOUGHTFUL person I know! When we were both pregnant, I remember being super jealous of all her cute maternity clothes. She must have known that I needed a pick-me-up and brought ALL OF THEM to me to finish out this pregnancy! When Parker threw up all over me, I was really upset until I realized that I'd just unloaded a whole new wardrobe...I had an early excuse to wear something new and exciting! She also cleaned up Parker for me while I showered. Kimberly is such a good mom and is my go-to person for parenting advice. She ALSO gave my blog it's new look while she was here!

...for scooping Parker out of my arms as he threw up on me (sorry...all of these involve throw-up) to get him over to the sink. I stood there having no idea what to do, so Devon and Kimberly took over. They are obviously more experienced in that area! I also love that Devon is very passionate...when he gets into something, he really gets into it! He had a lifelong dream of hunting for geodes, so he went with Grandpa Roush at 5:45 am the day after Thanksgiving to find some!

Taylor, Luke, and Blake
...for the non-stop energy and entertainment. I think Taylor was Parker's favorite...she played with him, made him laugh, and interpreted what he was saying for me. Luke shares my dislike for cold weather...he was pretty mad getting out of the warm car at temple square. If I could have gotten away with crying because it was so cold, I would have done it too! Blake is hilarious. Other than the fact that he totally traumatized Parker by hitting him, pushing him, stealing toys from him, and doing everything that a normal child with older siblings would do, he melted our hearts with his huge smile and funny personality. I'm determined that one of these days he and Parker will be good just didn't happen this time around!

...for making the best Key Lime Pie ever! Michael is really big into making and keeping traditions. He was determined to make our Thanksgiving one worth traveling for. He also really gets into the holidays...the weekend couldn't end without him making us all a new Christmas music mix! I love having Michael close by...after the rest of the family went home, he stayed another day to savor the family weekend before facing reality in Provo!


...for daring to make the turkey in the Big Green Egg (the famous Price is Right BBQ). He went all out and bought the wood chips and accessories necessary for the turkey smoking. It turned out GREAT! I felt like I was going to have to do all the work since dinner was at our house, but I ended up hardly doing anything! Joe got everything ready before they all came, and cleaned up after they all left (probably because he had a BYU/U of U Football game party planned a few hours later, but whatever the was fine with me to watch him clean!)


...for being the cutest little 18-month old in the whole world! He loves having people around and is still Mr. Social even when he's not feeling great. He amazes me every day with the things he can say and the things he understands. I need to make a list of all of his he found a packet of Hot Chocolate and said "ott choklit". How did he know that? Everyone thinks their kids are amazing...he really is! I loved having my family around and seeing that he loves and knows them even though he doesn't get to see them very often.